NYE — A little re-branding

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I can’t believe 2017 is coming to a close. It’s been such an amazing year. Although you wouldn’t know this from reading my blog (because I think I’ve only posted once or twice this year), there have been so many great changes that took place this year.

My husband and I purchased our first home, adopted a dog, and had an all around great last 365 days.

I’ve had so many observations over the last year that has led me to wanting to make some changes when it comes to my blog. Pinch Plate Party was originally supposed to be a food, entertaining, and lifestyle blog. At the end of the day. It hasn’t really been much of anything.

I want to do better. And I know I say that every year. But I do. This isn’t really a resolution — I just want to blog about my everyday life. This could turn out to be a failure, but, my blog is already a bust so why no try something new.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Get ready to see a lot more content… and a lot more random content about my everyday life.

Most likely my content will focus on life, thoughts, finances, food, DIY, and some travel. Really just a compilation of who I am. If you know me personally, you know I’m always moving a mile a minute and constantly have SO MUCH going on in my head.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Over the last year I’ve made observations about my own finances, my friends finances, and just general observations around millennial finances. I want to create some conversations around that.

Since buying our home I’ve done some small remodeling projects around the house. I’d love to share my successes and failures around that as well.

I still cook a lot, but I’ll be honest, I’ve subscribed to a food box because as life gets more hectic, I don’t always have time to grocery shop and create recipes from scratch. So there will be some variety around the food aspects as well. And don’t worry… We still eat out too.

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And travel… AHH. I love to travel. I already have two trips planned for 2018 and I can’t wait to share those travels and many more with you as well.

Milan, Italy

Milan, Italy

So as I said. Just get ready. This could be a hot mess. But my attempt to stay “on-brand” has just kept me from being creative. I love writing and I love creating and I love sharing a little bit of me with you.

I hope you enjoy what is to come.

Cheers to a new year!

Protect the Pantry Series: Introduction

I have a bad habit that I’m sure many of you have as well… I’m a sucker for a GREAT DEAL or and AMAZING FIND. I’ll just call it what it is, I’m an impulse buyer. This is is true for me when it comes to clothing shopping and even grocery shopping. I love finding cool pantry items at Trader Joes and Aldi… the issue is that I end up with a pantry full of food items that I probably wont use or might expire before I get to try them.

I don’t think anyone is to blame.

American’s are blessed to have access to food, water, restaurants, and the best grocery stores. We love buffets, order the full portion and leave half to be dumped instead of ordering the half portion, shop at warehouse stores, and freeze extra food that we know we’ll never eat. We’ve got to do better. I’ve got to do better.

The National Resources Defense Council states that, “Store promotions leading to bulk purchases or purchases of unusual products often result in consumers buying foods outside their typical meal planning, which then gets discarded.” I’m guilty of this and I’ve got to do better.

According to feedingamerica.org, “An estimated 25 – 40% of food grown, processed and transported in the US will never be consumed” and even worse is that “More food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in municipal solid waste.”

I’ll be the first to admit that historically, I don’t do such a great job trying to avoid food waste. I cook a lot and because I’m a “food blogger” I try out lots of different foods and recipes and sometimes it’s more than my husband and I can enjoy together.

My hope is to create a “series” of posts that encourage you to use food items you might have sitting in your pantry or to avoid buying more than you need. Some of these posts might be my own recipes or I might share some foods I made using recipes from other bloggers. Other ideas might encourage recycling leftovers into lunches and other dinner meals or providing suggestions for better portions.

Hopefully this will be ongoing. I’ll do my best to share my thoughts and attempts to protect my pantry and the food I order and/or bring into my home.

Join in on the conversation with me. How do you protect your pantry and avoid food waste?

Follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter with #ProtectThePantry and @PinchPlateParty

SOURCES:

https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/wasted-food-IP.pdf

http://www.feedingamerica.org/about-us/how-we-work/securing-meals/reducing-food-waste.html

Why I Love Food – Cooking in a World of the Forgotten Table.

Life of Pix

Life of Pix

Most of my blog posts consist of recipes, tips, or restaurant reviews, but every once in a while I like to share a little bit more of my heart.

I love cooking and I love food so much that I spend my days thinking about food. I’m sure many of you are thinking that one day all that enjoyment of food is going to catch up with me. Here’s the thing… Food means so much more to me than it does to some.

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The reason I love food so much might be because of all of the happy memories I have around what I like to call the table. The table to me is a place where you join together as a family, group of friends, or a group of strangers and share life and a meal together. This can be at a restaurant, a home, a park, or on a food tour. The important part of the table is that it’s a sacred place where you’re not rushed, and the goal is to build community and relationship while providing others with one of life’s necessities… food.

If you’ve read my blog in the past, you will understand that most of my recipes give a nod to my parents, a sibling, or my grandmother. My grandmother on my dad’s side is one of the best cooks I know. My mom filled my heart, stomach, and soul with her food. My dad and I connected in so many way as a kid, but some of my greatest memories he and I share are of him making us pancakes on a saturday morning, grilling out on a summer day, or teaching me how to make a lattice apple tart. My family, my world, revolves around the table.

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So many of my biggest accomplishments, and failures were celebrated at the table. If I got all A’s in high school my parents and I would celebrate with a night out at my favorite restaurant. When I didn’t make the cheerleading team in college my mom, dad, and I went out to dinner to celebrate because not making a team only means that there is something better out there that God has planned for me. As kids we celebrated almost every birthday, and holiday around my parent’s table eating our favorite foods, cakes, and snacks because a happy stomach makes for a happy person.

I think the concept of the table is slowly being forgotten, in a literal sense and a physical sense. We eat dinner in our living rooms in front of the TV instead of the kitchen with our families. We are in such a rush to get the kids to soccer, football, and baseball that we skip the table and drive through the fast food line. We are so focused on clean eating, gluten-free, vegan, and no fat diets that we alienate ourselves from our friends out of the desire to have a perfectly sculpted body. We have cut out dinner date nights and replaced them with Netflix nights  that are spent silently with out eyes glued to the TV. The concept of the table is so important for our bodies, but also for our souls.

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Life of Pix

I share my recipes with you because my desire for you is to live a life where you take time out to think about what you’re cooking for yourself, your friends, and your family. That’s why I don’t focus my recipes on calories, fat, or diets because every once in a while… those things shouldn’t matter. Cooking doesn’t come naturally for everyone, I understand that, but what I do understand is that no matter a person’s background, religion, struggles, passions, or schedules, they will take some time out of their day to eat. I share my recipes with you because I want you to share them with others. I want you to take time out to build community with those like you, and invite those who aren’t like you into conversation. Some of the best conversations I’ve ever had were over a cup of coffee, sharing a slice of cake, or sitting at my parents table. It’s never really about the food… it’s about opening your heart and yourself to someone else.

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Food impacts every part of my life. I’m a strong believer that I’m so close with my family because of the time we shared with each other around the table. I can probably count on two hands how many times we didn’t have dinner as family when I was a kid. Even though my husband and I have very different work schedules and don’t even see each other every day, my table time with him is extremely important – we make a point to have dinner together, at the table, for every meal we are able to share together. When I get together with friends I’m always sure to have at least coffee and cake around because if the person doesn’t like cake, they most likely will enjoy coffee. I’m convinced that the reason I’m so close with my family, am able to work through things with my husband, and have close relationships with my friends is because the table is what brings us together.

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Take some time out this week to share your table with someone you don’t normally share it with. That could mean inviting your sister over for dessert, meeting a friend for coffee, or sitting down as a family and eating a full meal together (no cell phones, and no distractions). I promise it might be one of the highlights of your week.

I love food… everything about it. But what I love most about food is that it’s served at the table, and the table brings people together. Imagine how different our world would be if we all shared our table just a little bit more.